More than 6,200 evacuated after Mount Sinabung volcano erupts in Indonesia


Sinabung volcano spews thick smoke and volcanic material in Indonesia's Karo district on September 15, 2013. Thousands of villagers fled the area on September 15 after a volcano erupted on Indonesia's Sumatra island, spewing rocks and red-hot ash onto surrounding villages, officials said.



More than 6,200 people were evacuated after Indonesian volcano Mount Sinabung erupted early Sunday.

The 8,530-foot volcano in Indonesia's western province of North Sumatra, which was dormant for three years before Sunday's eruption, sent thick ash into the sky that then fell and covered buildings and cars in neighboring villages.

Those who were evacuated were being sheltered in eight different locations, where officials distributed rice. Most of the evacuees were from six villages within three kilometers of Mount Sinabung.

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Five people were hospitalized in Kabanjahe after having difficulty breathing from inhaling volcanic ash.

Some of the displaced returned to their homes during the day on Monday in order to take care of their farms and livestock before returning to the evacuation centers.

Mount Sinabung last erupted in August 2010, killing two people and forcing 30,000 others to be evacuated. The eruption surprised scientists, since the volcano had been quiet for the last four centuries.

Indonesia is home to more than 129 active volcanoes and sits on the so-called "Ring of Fire," a series of fault lines that run from the Western Hemisphere to Japan and Southeast Asia, making the country prone to seismic activity.